Life Sciences & Healthcare Technologies

Sector Facts – York Region and the Greater Toronto Area

York Region Life Sciences Companies

  • York Region is home to 300 local Life Sciences and Healthcare Technology firms
  • Among the global industry leaders operating in York Region are Teva, J&J, Apotex, Smiths, Drager, PerkinElmer, Alexion, Abbott, Olympus Medical, Nightingale Informatix and Cerner Canada
  • Strategically located in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, North America’s 3rd largest life sciences cluster by sector employment (40,000 employees; 1,300 companies)
  • York Region is home to Ontario’s largest Local Health Network (LHIN) serving 1.8 million residents
  • Healthcare-IT convergence: York Region is home to Canada’s 2nd largest Information & Communications Technology (ICT) cluster incld. leading Healthcare IT firms such as IBM, Nightingale Informatix and Cerner Canada
  • 25 of top 50 global pharma firms and 16 of top 25 global medical device firms, have Canadian HQ in the Toronto area
  • Concentrated and diverse patient base; area population 6.1M (45% foreign-born), 5th largest metro area in U.S./Canada
  • 60 vicinity hospitals including 12 research and 9 teaching hospitals
  • 6 area medical schools and over 50 academic programs related to medical devices and biomedical engineering

HealthTech Commercialization in York Region

Extensive and Fast-Growing Local Healthcare Network


  • York Region is Canada’s fastest growing large municipality by population
  • Home to Ontario’s largest Health Integration Network (LHIN) serving 1.8 million people
  • Extensive local healthcare ecosystem: 3 local hospitals (4th underway), 700 physician offices, 70 labs, 220 pharmacies, 30 long-term care facilities and over 400 other specialist, out-patient and paramedical practitioners
  • Hospitals-industry collaboration framework focused on community care. Specific opportunities exist in chronic disease management, health informatics & analytics, health systems and process re-engineering, imaging, mobile applications, remote monitoring, non-invasive medical devices
  • Ideal launch pad for international SMEs in North America


ventureLAB Regional Innovation Centre

  • Home to ventureLAB Innovation Centre: One-stop-shop start-up/commercialization support for entrepreneurs
  • Part of Province of Ontario’s Network of Entrepreneurs  (ONE), designed to help commercialize ideas
  • Healthcare-ICT technology convergence centre

Academic Research & Innovation

  • York University: Canada’s 3rd largest university; leading interdisciplinary research and teaching institution
  • Seneca College: Canada’s largest college; leader in applied research and education

Additional Resources

  1. Create IT – Now at SouthLake
  2. York Region – Life Sciences Sector Brochure
  3. York Region – Healthcare IT Brochure
  4. Invest Ontario – Life Sciences Sector
  5. Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation – Clinical Trials Asset Map